What is a unified API?
A unified API acts as a single point of integration for multiple data sources. In our case with Edlink, we are a unified API that tackles integrating with educational data sources (think LMSs, SISs, IDMs). So instead of digital content and platform providers building one-off integrations with several of these systems at play, these providers can build one connection to Edlink, which then connects the provider to other sources.
How does a unified API work?
The platform behind a unified API usually writes several integrations for each data source that it supports. The platform then abstracts this data into a standardized format that can be retrieved or updated through a single API. The users of the unified API don't have to write their integrations with each data source – just one with the unified API.
Think of walking up to a kiosk to order food from several restaurants nearby. The kiosk acts as a way to let data flow between the available food for ordering and the people walking up to it - connecting the two.
How does the Edlink Unified API work?
The Edlink Unified API acts as an access point for edtech companies to integrate with LMSs, SISs, IDMs, and other educational data systems (EDSs). Most of these systems have a proprietary API that edtech apps can use to integrate with. Edlink has taken these APIs and wrote integrations back to each EDS.
Each EDSs’ API came with different ways to structure data. Edlink’s Unified API was strategically designed to successfully abstract data from each platform. This way requests made through the API can pass through to any LMS, SIS, IDM, or EDS supported. In short, on Edlink’s dashboard, a client’s product makes an API request to Edlink for a specific school. Edlink then makes an API request to the school's EDS with that system’s proprietary API.
Does Edlink onboard schools?
When our edtech clients are ready to begin onboarding schools, Edlink is there to support them. Our onboarding team can work with school administrators to connect LMSs, SISs, IDMs, and EDSs to Edlink. Our edtech clients then use our Unified API to integrate an edtech platform with a school’s EDS.
Does Edlink use the LTI standard?
Some (but not all!) systems support a form of the LTI standard. Edlink supports LTI launch through any LTI-compliant platform. Our full list of what we support with LTI can be found here. Lastly, Edlink can connect platforms that support integrations through the LTI and OneRoster standards.
What are some of Edlink's integrations?
Edlink supports integration with major educational systems, including:
- Google Classroom
- Microsoft Teams
- Brightspace (D2L)
- And Much More (see our latest additions)
Read More on Data Integration
Here are other articles we’ve written on integrations to help you on your journey:
- What is the Edlink Unified API?
- Common Pitfalls of LMS Integration
- What to Know About Single Sign-On for Education
- The Challenges of Using APIs for LMS Integration in k12 and Higher Education
- What’s the Difference Between API and LTI Integration?
Want to Learn More about Edlink?
If you're looking for a partner who can help guide you through developing LMS integrations (like these), then let’s introduce ourselves. We’re Edlink!